Westerley Hillingdon 10.5 mile TT

I was originally down to ride our club 10 on Tuesday, however last time out on the TT bike I managed to shear an extension bolt meaning the bike was out of action. I had tried to get the parts I needed shipped in time to no avail. I was still planning to offer my help to volunteer for the event when it was cancelled due to a poor turnout, which was a shame.

Still it meant at least I could do something, and so I managed to get an entry to the Hillingdon series which runs every Wednesday during the summer.

I had done 2 previous, one on the road bike and one one the TT bike (Road – 23:57, TT – 24:40).

I wasn’t expecting too much, I had a usual rest day Monday, but aimed to train Tuesday but felt very average so just pootled about for 14 miles round the park. Got on the saddle Wednesday to spin over to Hillingdon and still felt pretty average. I’d not had time to switch to my aero wheels either so imagined I’d already be at a disadvantage.

Signed on and got my aero garb on before waiting for my number to come up. Conditions seemed ok, it was windy, but the wind was only really affecting things along the very top short straight, so everywhere else felt reasonably quick. Lined up and got counted in before setting off hard, doing 421w for the lap in just over 2 minutes, which was obviously way more than I could maintain. Soon settled into a reasonable rhythm, but the strategy of setting out as hard as possible and holding on wasn’t the easiest or best.

I was still struggling to get the power out but I think constantly having a good stream of other folk on the course to aim for was good motivation for me to keep going. Managed to push really hard for the finish and crossed the line in 23:26, averaging 343w, 5w more than last time out, which was much better than I had hoped for. I was also happy that I’d managed to stay in what I thought was much more of an aero position than last time as well.

Got back to the HQ and saw I’d managed 2nd overall, and 1st in the road bike category, my first podium in any TT of sorts which I was pretty happy with, although I’m guessing where its now summer holidays some of the really fast people hadn’t turned up, but you can’t race the ones that don’t turn up! That said was really good to do more watts than last time, and improve by over 30s, especially as I hadn’t expected much at all!

Strava: https://www.strava.com/activities/356843798
Avg Power: 343w
NP Power: 348w
Avg Speed: 26.7mph

Results

Pos No. Name Class Total Tm
1 13 Ben Allen TT Bike 22:19.1
2 43 Thomas Whatley Road Bike 23:26.4
3 5 John Sullivan TT Bike 23:33.7
4 29 Peter Stuart TT Bike 23:33.8
5 9 Malcolm Woolsey TT Bike 23:56.6
6 7 Ian McNally TT Bike 24:17.4
7 11 Tim Childs TT Bike 24:21.8
8 55 James Riall Road Bike 24:40.5
9 42 James Griffin Road Bike 24:42.8
10 40 Helen McKay TT Bike 24:50.8
11 37 Darren Rhodes TT Bike 25:07.3
12 30 Jamie Wimborne TT Bike 25:08.4
13 53 Steven Wood Road Bike 25:09.7
14 49 James Bowden Road Bike 25:56.1
15 22 Jasper McCrae Road Bike 25:57.6
16 4 Gary Martin TT Bike 25:57.7
17 24 Therese Coen TT Bike 26:00.7
18 19 Dave Newman TT Bike 26:09.9
19 25 Adrian Joseph TT Bike 26:15.2
20 51 James Maun Road Bike 26:17.3
21 26 David Morrison TT Bike 26:18.0
22 3 Vince Dey TT Bike 27:03.5
23 1 Wayne Meek Road Bike 27:10.9
24 36 Sam Farman TT Bike 27:18.9
25 2 Jason Fisher TT Bike 27:46.7
26 47 Timothy Hall Road Bike 27:52.1
27 48 Jack Stuart Road Bike 27:53.2
28 46 Ian St John Road Bike 28:06.0
29 17 Trevor Hedges Road Bike 28:23.8
30 6 Chris Parrott TT Bike 28:27.4
31 14 Jeremy Ball Road Bike 28:35.6
32 32 Christopher Holland TT Bike 28:51.0
33 31 Simon Bailey TT Bike 29:04.8
34 18 Dinesh Karunarthne TT Bike 29:07.7
35 8 Dave Morrison (Westerley) Road Bike 29:23.8
36 21 Seth Kanaris Road Bike 30:42.9
37 12 Gillian Morgan Road Bike 32:27.6
38 10 Orla Devlin Road Bike 32:58.6
39 56 Kirill Kandrasin Road Bike 33:11.7
40 20 Esme Devlin Road Bike 41:14.8

SL Accom. Road Handicap / Crits at the Park – 6th / Richmond Park TT – 9th Overall

After reflecting on my last relatively succcessful outing at Cutmill, my next big target was the next SL 3rds race at Dunsfold. I’d had a bit of blip in terms of CTL numbers prior to Cutmill so really wanted to have a big week of training the week after, to try and breakthrough the mini ceiling I feel like I’ve found at the moment.

Went out on a club training ride on Tuesday and made sure I really gave it to myself, ended up with some decent power pb’s from around 3mins up to 7mins. Also some good sprint practice. Wednesday the legs were still feeling it but did some fairly strong intervals round Regents Park, which was not ideal prep for Thursday’s SL Handicap race.

This was my first Handicap race, and while familiar with the concept from reading others race reports etc, I was still a little unsure how it would end up. As it would happen I was seeded in the second group off, setting off quite some time after the first group containing some 3’s, 3v’s and ladies.

My group worked reasonably well to begin with in terms of the chainganging, but most of the riders either weren’t trying very hard, or just were not very strong. This continued for a couple of laps of the rolling course until the next group behind caught up. Things started to get a bit more ragged with around 5 laps to go and a big bunch. There were spats of good chaingang movement, followed by sections where riders would move up the road and it would all break down. Shortly after a few laps to go the scratch group caught us, and the pace picked up quite noticeably. I was now working fairly hard to remain in the bunch or move up, still I tried to get at the front and move the pace on.

Into the final lap and it was clear we weren’t going to catch the first group as they had around 2 minutes by now. I thought I’d at least try and position for the sprint, but I was so concerned with staying near the front for the final sharp left hander, that I worked pretty much half the lap hard on the front. By the time we took the last corner I was spent. Had I been fresh I probably would have been at least contesting the sprint, but the volume in the days before finished me and I rolled over the line behind the bunch. Not too bothered as the main reason I was there was for the training, and I would have been sprinting for very minor placings anyway!

Strava: https://www.strava.com/activities/328268498
Avg Power: 273w
NP Power: 319w
Avg Speed: 24.6mph

I reluctantly took Friday off the bike after a busy day, then I had a Cyclopark Crit on Saturday afternoon. Arrived at the course nice and early and in the rain, the circuit was wet, but drying rapidly thanks to the recent warm weather. As it happened by our race start it was bone dry. Bonus! Things got off to a very steady start which was unusual for these races. After a lap or two I decided to move to the front and try and do some work to string things out a bit, which seemed to work as I noticed us dropping several riders off the back. I was still feeling the weeks training but at no point felt like the pace was too much, in fact at times it felt positively pedestrian and I was able to take drinks and scope competitors out a fair bit.

Several attacks were attempted but either myself or others shut them down, a couple of times I attempted to jump clear out of the hairpin, but never seemed to make much ground, as others behind me seemed to also have a good jump. After about 30minutes it seemed fairly clear it would all stay together for a bunch sprint, so I backed into the bunch a touch and tried to keep fresh.

With 4 to go the pace turned up a touch as people starting thinking about the finish, but no meaningful attacks still. Through the bell lap and the bunch still altogether if a little strung out. I was midpack by this point, so through the finish line moved up all the way on the left handside to second wheel. First wheel then put in a strong dig out of the hairpin to get clear. I didn’t fancy burning a match going after him, so settled into a TT effort down the back half of the course, confident I could make up the ground, which began to close up. Through the corners and back up towards the finish straight all the way pushing a reasonable effort and catching until he seemed to blow before the finish hill kicked slightly.

At this point I felt the bunch behind me pick up gears, and the sprint was on. I was obviously slightly late to the party and got swapped both sides with riders going past. A gap opened on the left hand side and I was able to open up for the sprint, not my best effort as I think I was concerned at the other riders so close, but managed to take back several of the places and came across the line in 6th.

Pleased with that effort considering the miles I had in my legs. Wish I’d held back a touch and been a few wheels further back into the finish straight though, if I’d have kicked at the right time with space fairly sure a podium place could have been on the cards.

Strava: https://www.strava.com/activities/329288545
Avg Power: 268w
NP Power: 321w
Avg Speed: 24.8mph

All of this again was not ideal prep for the Richmond Park TT, but good fun nonetheless. I was due to be off at 6:52, which despite the event being the most local I’ve done still meant a 5am alarm call in order to get the TT bike ready, get breakfast and sign-on nice and early.

I felt grim being up that early. The weather was overcast and a touch windy, but not too bad conditions considering the rain that had fallen the night before. I signed on and watched a couple of the Paceline guys in the road bike category come over the line as I made my way down to the start.

Sprinted hard off the line and was soon into the extensions and making my way towards Roehampton. Legs felt surprisingly ok at this point, and I was aiming at around 330w. Wasn’t confident turning towards Sawyers in the extensions so came up and made the turn before settling back.

Reasonable headwind up Sawyers drag made things harder than usual, but I was fairly quickly past my 30 second man. Sprinted the steep section then took a bit of rest in the dip towards Richmond gate, steady round the left turn I then sprinted out of the roundabout down towards Kingston. Felt decent doing 30mph+ down the hill, where I overtook the next 30 second man.

Slowed up for the u-turn at Kingston gate which I think I negotiated fairly well, and got back up to speed for the drag back to Richmond gate. I was starting to hurt here and was struggling to keep to my 330w target. Made the roundabout turn back towards Roehampton, and was looking forward to the downhill, where the speed was soon up to 40mph+. Was nice to be able to really push it in the park which was reasoably empty at this time. In hindsight I eased back here too much, as I find it harder to get the power out downhill, but I think the tiny respite helped as I was able to keep the watts up after the downhill.

Back towards Robin hood, feeling as ok as you can in a 10m TT, and almost had a horror moment, as a rabbit ran out across my wheel while I was in the extensions. No time to even consider moving, as luckily it was faster than my reactions, and dodged my wheel.

The adrenaline spike probably helped me in the last section as I climbed the draggy road up to the finish at pen ponds. The legs were on fire at this point and I sprinted across the finish to end with a time of 25:13.

Bit of a disaster with the timings meant not knowing the outcome until later but was 8th in TT bike category which was pleasing, and the watts (326w) were ok too. Think I’m around 20w down on the TT bike so that points to c.350w for 20mins on the road bike, which is positive.

Some awesome rides from all the Paceline guys, especially Rob Sharland to win TT bike with 22:58! Gareth Thomas for 2nd in the road bike category with a 25:23 (only 10secs off my time!) and Maryka for winning the ladies road category with 27:12.

Conditions weren’t the greatest so there’s more time there. I was also only running training wheels and an Evade helmet, so hopefully I can get in for the next one, be more aero and pick up some time.

Strava: https://www.strava.com/activities/329715808
Avg Power: 326w
NP Power: 337w
Avg Speed: 25.1mph

TT bike

On the way up Sawyers.

Really enjoying riding my bike at the moment whether its racing, TT’ing or training, and I think thats showing in my results.

Hillingdon Evening Time Trial Series

Not a huge amount to say about this really, my second time trial of the year was just a 10.3 mile affair, or 11 laps of Hillingdon circuit.

Cycled over to Hillingdon early, which felt really odd on the TT bike, having ridden almost exclusively on my road bike for the last few months. Legs were pretty fatigued too thanks to a Crit a few days earlier, and no real rest days. 

 I was a bit concerned when thinking about this TT that the full on TT bike might be not so much of an advantage here due to the corners, but actually riding the circuit once I was there put that to rest as I could happily stay in the extensions on all of the corners bar the sharpest hairpin, so seemed there was at least some advantage to be gained.

Pinned my number on with the help of Paul who was riding in the road bike category, and made my way to the start line. Thankfully the weather was sunny, so again it was out with the shorts 🙂 However, there was still a bit of wind as there always seems to be at Hillingdon, especially down the main straight.

Kicked off the line hard and quickly settled into the extensions up the small rise, and before long found myself settling at 380-400 watts up to the hairpin, round the hairpin with no power, then up the hill using quite a bit of power, round the long sweeping corner where the wind seemed to assist and onto the main straight where it was a tough headwind, again settling into a rhythm well over 300w. The legs felt pretty grim, but I kept pushing. Only this another 10 times!

Found it particularly tough due to the rhythm of the circuit, pushing pretty big (for me) watts in several places, then kind of recovering through some of the corners again. I faded a bit and didn’t really push for the line at the finish as I was mentally quite tired by the end, which is a bit annoying looking back but eventually I crossed the line in 24:41 to get a 6th place in the TT bike category out of 27 riders, so not too bad considering. Also set new power pb from 8mins through to 25. With 20 minute power at 328w, an all time best for me, which has meant a slight bump to my FTP number as well. All in all pretty chuffed with that, although I still think I can better that number with less fatigue in the legs!

Looking forward to Sunday now and my second road race. This time a 3rd Cat only race on the Kirdford course again.

Strava link: https://www.strava.com/activities/281701926

Avg/NP Power: 324w/324w

Speed: 25.6mph

Full TT Result

Pos   No. Name Class Laps Total Tm Avg. Speed Best Tm
1   19 Sam Henning TT Bike 11 22:24.360 27.689 1:59.088
2   1 Ben Allen TT Bike 11 23:06.057 26.856 2:03.113
3   7 Malcolm Woolsey TT Bike 11 23:20.461 26.580 2:05.227
4   23 Peter Stuart TT Bike 11 23:48.446 26.059 2:08.432
5   18 James Griffin TT Bike 11 24:27.640 25.363 2:07.930
6   20 Thomas Whatley TT Bike 11 24:41.098 25.133 2:11.566
7   46 Martin Winter TT Bike 11 24:43.972 25.084 2:11.311
8   16 William Wallace TT Bike 11 25:06.460 24.710 2:08.949
9   10 Wayne Meek TT Bike 11 25:07.796 24.688 2:06.585
10   3 Ian McNally TT Bike 11 25:35.365 24.244 2:16.099
11   24 Danny Bellion TT Bike 11 25:39.797 24.175 2:12.808
12   26 Jamie Wimborne TT Bike 11 25:46.463 24.070 2:16.043
13   17 Jamie Crust TT Bike 11 26:23.729 23.504 2:21.517
14   11 Richard Burton TT Bike 11 26:40.765 23.254 2:23.294
15   6 Dan Noraika TT Bike 11 27:08.803 22.854 2:22.862
16   15 Vince Dey TT Bike 11 27:26.149 22.613 2:27.484
17   30 David Morrison TT Bike 11 27:35.110 22.490 2:24.757
18   21 Alex Jones TT Bike 11 27:49.247 22.300 2:29.309
19   27 Peter Hewson TT Bike 11 28:38.174 21.665 2:27.475
20   25 Nathan George TT Bike 11 28:54.869 21.456 2:33.577
21   22 Christine Meek TT Bike 11 29:36.812 20.950 2:36.778
22   8 Tom Newman TT Bike 11 29:58.172 20.701 2:37.451
23   5 Chris Parrott TT Bike 11 30:16.224 20.495 2:34.133
24   28 Savannah Hewson TT Bike 11 30:29.394 20.348 2:36.040
25   47 Jessica Henning TT Bike 11 30:45.405 20.171 2:37.125
26   29 Cameron Still TT Bike 11 30:46.987 20.154 2:41.020
27   12 Paul Barker TT Bike 11 31:09.133 19.915 2:45.550

KW Sporting 14 Time Trial

My first proper CTT time trial, only done a racing circuit event before this.

Training had been going pretty well in the run up to this on the 8th Feb. I’d gotten out for a mid week training loop which was pretty hard work, and I’d even managed an hour interval at sweet spot round RP on the TT bike in prep. The weather was looking good as well so I was all set to give it a good bash. That is until I decided to go out on Friday night with a friend for a couple of drinks… We ended up wandering round half of London and in between bars I was getting seriously cold. This combination of a heavy training day, not eating too well, alcohol and limited sleep meant I woke up Saturday with a horrible head cold feeling pretty horrific.

However after thinking about it, I thought if I woke up Sunday feeling better than I did Saturday then I’d ride. Woke up at 6am to get ready and felt a little better, so I dosed up with Sudafed and got on with it. The course was in Ripley, so a good 20 miles from home. Decided to give myself the best chance of not getting more ill I’d get the train most of the way there so cycled to Clapham Junction, got the train to Woking, then cycled the remaining 5 and a bit miles to Ripley. By the time I got there it was warming up a bit, but the roads were still very greasy. I was unseeded and therefore one of the first off at 9:02. I signed on and got my number pinned on, before bimbling over to the start. So much for a warm up!

I lined up at the start still feeling pretty groggy and totally unsure at how my legs and lungs would feel. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and I was about to find out, felt good off the start, and quickly settled into aero position. (The course for anyone that doesn’t know is two almost 7 mile laps, with the beginning half lap largely an uphill drag, followed by a section of rolling A-road, before a steady downhill/flat section back to the start of the lap.) I looked down to settle into an appropriate power to see no power or cadence readings. Great start. Annoying as I knew the PM was fine, it was just a Garmin issue. I tried several times to re-scan for the PM but the Garmin was having none of it, before I just switched off and switched back on. On doing so I had everything back on screen, however I’d spent the first 6 mins riding blind so to speak, so had probably been going way too hard knowing me. I settled back in and started aiming for my target 300w which at this point felt ok. Negotiated some of the technical turns before getting onto the A-road, which I felt like I did at a snails pace due to the roads being so slippy.

Turned onto the A-road and felt OK, still hitting c.300w and was quickly gaining on my minute man. Up to the left hand turn at the roundabout and onto the downhill section I took the next sweeping right handers pretty steady, before getting back in aero and passing the guy in front at some speed. Back through the start finish and onto Hungry Hill Lane for the second time. The surface on the road goes from sublime to ridiculous as just certain sections have been resurfaced which adds to the struggle and struggling I was, it was getting tougher to push a gear at the watts I wanted, and I couldn’t seem to find the right one. I was pretty quickly passed by Pat Wright who had just set off, and made me look like I was going backwards. As I got up towards the A-road again I was in dire straights and seriously struggline. Not sure if this was fitness, or the cold meaning I was struggling but I felt like I was out of juice. Turned onto the A-road and tried to keep the speed up but at points it felt like I was struggling to even keep to 200w. Eventually got the the next left turn at the roundabout and started the downhill section. The legs seemed to come back a bit at this point, and I maintained some good power back down to the finish before putting in a good dig to cross the line in 36:40.

Pretty dissapoitned with this overall, no power PBs which given how i’d been going in training I was expecting, not a particularly good time, and mentally I felt I’d been really weak too, especially during the middle of the second lap! Probably not helped by the fact I’d gone in with no particular aim or target time. Got back to HQ had some tea and cake, but was feeling crap and just wanted to get home. The weather was decent so just crawled home, still felt like a bit of a clown crawling along on a full TT rig with a winter jacket and backpack with all my gear on! Pretty frustrating day all in.

Looking forward to putting in a proper effort on another course soon. Not sure the hilly nature of this course is something I’m suited to either.

Avg Power (for the time it was working) – 280w. Power curve below, note the drop at the right hand of the curve where I had no data.

HR avg – 176bpm (which I think tells the story. Would have ideally wanted this to be closed to 180+ throughout. Only hit a peak of 182bpm (max is 194bpm)

power curve